November 01, 2017 Waymaker

An Interview with Justice Dana Fabe

By Marla N. Greenstein

Justice Dana Fabe served three terms as chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court and is the second justice in the court’s history to serve three terms. She was appointed to the Alaska Supreme Court in 1996 and is the first woman to serve on the court and as chief justice. She retired from the court system June 1, 2016. Prior to serving on the Alaska Supreme Court, Fabe served as chief public defender for Alaska from 1981–88, when she was appointed to the superior court bench in Anchorage. She served as deputy presiding judge and training judge while on the superior court bench. An innovative leader, Fabe co-chaired the Alaska Fairness and Access Commission and chaired its Fairness, Diversity, and Equality Committee. She also served as co-chair of the Advisory Committee of the Center for Judicial Ethics at the National Center for State Courts. Justice Fabe has served on the board of directors and twice as second vice president of the Conference of Chief Justices and is a past president of the National Association of Women Judges.

Most recently, Justice Fabe is the recipient of the National Center for State Courts 2017 Sandra Day O’Connor Civic Outreach Award. Her previous honors include the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the National Center for State Courts and the 2012 Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award from the National Association of Women Judges, and she was named a Woman of Achievement by the YWCA in 2002. She is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a sustaining elected member of the American Law Institute. Fabe received her B.A. from Cornell University and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. Married to Randall Simpson, they have a daughter, son-in-law, and a new grandson. Justice Fabe has served as a mentor and inspiration for countless young lawyers in Alaska.

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